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Chocolate-Almond Flourless Cake

February 11, 2011

With some friends in town for a visit, I decided to make something fun for dessert. This is a great recipe when you want to put a little extra effort in (but not too much!) to make others as happy as they make you.  Plus it’s chocolate. Always a good call.

You will need:

  • 2/3 c sliced almonds
  • 12 T butter, diced
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 T breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated plus 3 egg yolks
  • Zest of 1 clementine
  • 1 T liquor (I used cherry; try dark rum, kahlua, etc.)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • Whipped Cream

Then you…

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Use non-stick cooking spray to lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Dust the pan with the bread crumbs, and tap out the excess crumbs. Place pan on a baking sheet.
  2. Spread the almonds on a second baking sheet and toast 6-7 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. You should be able to smell them as they are just about done! Allow to cook several minutes, and then pulse in a food processor until finely ground. Do not over pulse, or they will become pasty.
  3. Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; do not let the bowl touch the simmering water (you want to melt via indirect heat). Melt the butter and chocolate in the bowl, stirring until smooth. Remove chocolate mixture from the heat and cool slightly.
  4. Set aside 2 T of the sugar.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the 6 egg yolks and the remaining sugar with an electric or stand mixer. Beat on medium-high until thick and pale, roughly 3 minutes.
  6. Mix in the clementine zest, liquor, and salt. Slowly beat in the melted chocolate until smooth. Stir in the ground almonds until just combined.
  7. In another bowl, beat the 3 egg whites with a mixer on medium-high to high until foamy. Gradually beat in the reserved 2 T of sugar on high speed until you almost have stiff peaks.
  8. Stir 1/3 of the meringue into the batter; gently fold in the remaining whites.
  9. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until the top is firm and cracked (a toothpick in the center will be fudgy), 35-40 minutes.
  10. Cool on a rack 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges gently and remove the ring.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature. Best with a little whipped cream!

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